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18 February 2009

Who is leading the movement towards globalization?

Who is leading the movement towards globalization?. Is it possible to imagine that this huge attempt to homogenize human thought, systems and other things, and this movement to make the tastes of all nations the same and to make them follow the same pattern in their lives with regard to productivity, consumption and the way they see themselves and others – is it possible to imagine that all of this is happening spontaneously with the sole motive of seeking lucrative trade? Or is this a huge conspiracy perpetrated by the rich nations – especially America – against the weak and poor nations?

There are many attempts to answer these questions, but we will try here to form a balanced and objective view towards this vital issue of globalization.

I believe that this trend, which has covered every part of the world – to a greater or lesser extent – is like a huge river which has millions of sources springing up all over the world. It is not possible for any nation, no matter what it does, to block these sources or to divert the course of this river. The movement towards globalization is too big to be controlled by one state. Indeed, it could be said that what one major company does to spread globalization, many states would be unable to do. This does not mean – of course – that the roles played by nations, companies and academic and technological trends are all equal, neither does it mean that there are not secret plans aimed at steering globalization or using it as a means of applying pressure at certain times. Neither does it mean that global balance in many fields is achieved without the direction of hidden forces behind the scenes. But at the same time, I hope that the reader will permit me to shed light on three points of the utmost importance.

(1) Globalization is being essentially directed by the West and those who are under its sphere of influence, such as Japan and some of the South-East Asian states. I believe that there is not much room for argument here. What moves globalization to the centre of international significance is not ideas hidden in books or slogans shouted by some people here and there, but the manifestation of administrative, technological and scientific advancement achieved mainly by the major industrialized nations. It is also a reflection of the economic and financial power wielded by some states. On this basis it is clear that new patents and technological advancements, along with huge wealth and capital are not residing in the developing world or the Islamic world; they are in America, Japan, Europe and Canada. If we examine 40,000 multinational companies, we will find that more than 90% of them are based in the countries mentioned above. These companies are the ones who are planning globalization and implementing the plans that are drawn up. Unfortunately, the Muslim nations have no more than the smallest share in this huge number of companies, even though the Muslims constitute one-quarter of the total population of the earth!

From a theoretical point of view, it should be possible for all nations and peoples to share in the globalization movement and to influence its direction. But in actual fact the ones who are doing that are those who have knowledge, industrial capability and ownership.

(2) Many researchers think that what is known as “globalization’ should actually be called “Americanization”, because the state that has control over the decisions of international social, economical and political organizations is the USA. Its voice is the strongest; popular American culture is the strongest and fastest-spreading culture in the world. All of this lends support to this view. But the matter requires a deeper and more balanced examination. We believe that globalization is an independent phenomenon, with its own dynamics. If America and Japan were to decline, for example, or their worldwide influence were to diminish, this would not put an end to globalization, although it might change some of its features. The focal point of globalization is economy, and the USA has strong economic partners. The GDP of Western Europe is greater than that of the USA. Japan also enjoys a high economic status, and its economy, along with the economies of SE Asia, is greater than the US economy. China, the “awakening giant”, has also achieved increased economic growth, and its influence on the globalization movement is expanding day by day. But all of this does not cancel out the fact that the US is the strongest contributor to globalization. No matter how bad its own situation gets, it may still retain an important position in international activities for a long time to come, even if it loses its foremost position. In order to find out the strength of America’s role in globalization, it is sufficient for us to know that its GDP in 1997 was approx. $7100 billion; at the same time, Japan’s GDP was approx. $4964 billion; France’s GDP was $1451 billion; and Egypt’s was $46 billion. America is a land of immense natural resources, with a population of 280 million, who eat and export food even though only 3% of them work in agriculture. They have giant companies whose annual sales exceed $130 billion.

In the field of popular culture, the US also enjoys a clear advantage over its economic competitors, especially with regard to movie making and the entertainment and music industries. A report of the UN Development Program stated that the US exports to Europe annually 1.2 million hours of TV programming. This huge amount of broadcast material is enough to keep more than 130 TV channels busy around the clock. A UNESCO report states that American TV programming occupies more than 75% of global broadcasting, with the remaining share divided between local production in Europe and elsewhere. In 1996, American cinematic output was 85% of the world total.

(3) The cultural, historical and ideological background of the nations and peoples in the forefront of globalization is materialistic and secular. No matter how much the Japanese differ from the Americans, Canadians or Europeans, what they have in common is that they are motivated and influenced by a set of man-made beliefs and morals, which pay no heed worth mentioning to the idea of the Hereafter. Undoubtedly, the main influence behind the globalization movement comes from Americans of European descent, whose Greek ancestors were known as “sophists”. They believed in that which modern western philosophers call the principle of pragmatism and power. They used to believe that justice exists only where it serves the interests of the stronger party. The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that war was permissible in only one case, which was in order to hunt slaves. We should not forget the Westerners’ systematic extermination, which was unprecedented in human history, of the native inhabitants of the “two Americas”, and their bringing of Black slaves from Africa to their own country, and their export of undesirable social elements from their own lands to various pockets of colonialism. For the purpose of making huge economic gains, the West launched the first and second Opium Wars against China. And why should we look so far afield when we ourselves suffered a century and a half of European military colonization throughout the Muslim world?

In my view, these considerations are sufficient to understand who is in charge of globalization and the extent to which the West is controlling it.

Let us not forget that this situation may change according to which states will have greater cultural and political influence in the future. And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek.

By A D ‘Abd al-Kareem Bakkaar
From Aldawaa magazine, issue # 1742, p. 19

09 February 2009

Beliefed-003

7:53 PM by myrazano · 0 komentar
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Narated By 'Abdullah bin 'Amr : The Prophet said, "A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands. And a Muhajir (emigrant) is the one who gives up (abandons) all what Allah has forbidden."

Beliefed-002

7:48 PM by myrazano · 0 komentar
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Narated By Abu Huraira : The Prophet said, "Faith (Belief) consists of more than sixty branches (i.e. parts). And Haya (This term "Haya" covers a large number of concepts which are to be taken together; amongst them are self respect, modesty, bashfulness, and scruple, etc.) is a part of faith."